Theists, I want your best reasoning
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16-12-2014, 06:57 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
Chas and Stuffed_Assumption_Meringue,

I'm just dropping by to say thank you for your responses to my post, and that I have not forgotten about them, or ignored them (I'm basically making this post because I hate it myself when people forget about/ignore my replies).

The reason I have not replied yet is because this one takes quite a lot of typing and thinking, and I'm buried in studies, work and moving right now. It probably won't clear up until sometime in January, and I do plan to come back with a reply when it does.

So merry Christmas (in a purely cultural sense) and a happy New Year.

~ Gaest
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16-12-2014, 07:02 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
Quote:You may be an atheist. You may also be a theist posing as an atheist to try to make some point. I don't know. I do know the impression I get from your posts is the latter.

Or I may be neither atheist or theist...

Quote:You are assuming that Person B thinks nuclear weapons are a good idea.

No, like I actually said.... I'm assuming that Person B thinks that a species that has nukes aimed down it's own throat is rational enough to have useful ideas about the ultimate nature of everything.

Please consider that we don't even have a clue what the word "everything" refers to. If we don't have a clue what everything refers to, why would we have a clue about what does or doesn't lie at the heart of everything?

Quote:The fact that some members of the species are aiming those weapons doesn't mean that other members don't have sufficient command of reason to reject religion.

One may have an excellent command of reason. That does not automatically equal reason being capable of addressing such huge questions in a meaningful way.

As example, I'm a fairly good perl programmer. Well, sorta. :-)

That ability doesn't equal me, or any coder, being able to write a program which answers the God question.

You seem to be assuming that if one is expert at reason, one is then in a position to accept or debunk religious claims. But you haven't first shown that reason is a qualified authority for the task at hand.

Religious people bear the burden of showing that their chosen authority, holy books, is qualified to deliver useful answers to God questions.

Atheists bear the burden of showing that their chosen authority, human reason, is qualified to deliver useful answers to God questions.
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16-12-2014, 07:36 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(16-12-2014 07:02 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  Or I may be neither atheist or theist...

That's impossible.

Atheism is the logical negation of theism (as in "not theist"). It's possible you may alternate between positions (many of us have), but you must be one, and you can only be one at a time. Either you believe in one or more gods, or you do not. There is no other possibility.

If you say "I'm not sure" or "I lack a belief in gods but I don't assert there are none", you're still atheist because you don't believe in gods. You'd just be the the agnostic variety of atheist, like myself, and most of the posters on these boards (from what I gather).
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16-12-2014, 07:37 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(16-12-2014 07:02 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  
Quote:You may be an atheist. You may also be a theist posing as an atheist to try to make some point. I don't know. I do know the impression I get from your posts is the latter.

Or I may be neither atheist or theist...

The definitions I use:
theist: accepts at least one claim that a god exists
atheist: does not accept any claims of a god existing

Everybody is in one of the 2 categories. If you say you are neither then I need you to explain your definitions.

Quote:
Quote:You are assuming that Person B thinks nuclear weapons are a good idea.

No, like I actually said.... I'm assuming that Person B thinks that a species that has nukes aimed down it's own throat is rational enough to have useful ideas about the ultimate nature of everything.

Then you are assuming that every member of the species is aiming nukes and not allowing for the fact that Person B might believe that having nukes aimed down people's throats is not good. You are conflating the beliefs and reasoning abilities of individuals with the actions of other individuals and the species as a whole. It's gibberish.

You've also moved the goalpost from "a command of reason sufficient to debunk religion" to "rational enough to have useful ideas about the ultimate nature of everything". Those aren't even in the same ballpark.

Quote:You seem to be assuming that if one is expert at reason, one is then in a position to accept or debunk religious claims. But you haven't first shown that reason is a qualified authority for the task at hand.

What I have said is that reason is the best tool we have for investigating claims. When I use it on the religious claims I have heard it tells me that they do not stand up and that means that dismissing them is warranted. I have not claimed that reason can answer the question of god's existence with finality but I also have not claimed that god does not exist.

Quote:Atheists bear the burden of showing that their chosen authority, human reason, is qualified to deliver useful answers to God questions.

I do presuppose the laws of logic as axioms; if you don't then we are unable to have a meaningful dialog. When it comes to claims of fact, reason, supported by evidence, is the only tool we have that can possibly provide any answers. If there is an ultimate reality that reason can not reach then it is unknowable unless a better tool can be found. Faith is not that tool.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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16-12-2014, 08:46 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
Gaest:
It's fine bro, whenever you're both willing and able is fine. We've gotten a little off topic though; this was started to ask "why believe" and you answered that to Micro's satisfaction. It's really all that matters.

Chas and I have spun off into reasons and rationales and the challenges and logic and evidence and gahoyven!
Would you prefer PM'ing or a new thread?

If I'm being presumptious by trying to not be presumptious: Fuck it. Let's keep going.

Also: It wouldn't have bothered me if you hadn't gotten back to me/ us. But thank you for your assurance. It's great.

Soulless mutants of muscle and intent. There are billions of us; hardy, smart and dangerous. Shaped by millions of years of death. We are the definitive alpha predator. We build monsters of fire and stone. We bottled the sun. We nailed our god to a stick.

In man's struggle against the world, bet on the man.
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17-12-2014, 01:13 AM (This post was last modified: 17-12-2014 02:08 AM by Seattle.)
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
OK, I'll bite.

I believe in God but not in organized religion. I grew up in a religious household in a religious part of the country (so that probably answers one of your questions).

I was opened to the idea of God from an early age due to my environment so it wasn't a logical or rational thing. Once one is open to God then it's easy to "find" him.

I do seem to "feel" him or sense his presence. I don't believe in answerable prayers but the feeling is more of a big brother or something that has concern for me. This feeling has helped me when times were down.

I feel that "he" would want me to live the good life and basically adopt the Golden Rule. I feel that God is tolerant. I don't believe in hell and have no thoughts one way or the other regarding the possibility of an afterlife.

I just try to live a good life while I'm here. I think God created the laws of physics and everything from that point on occured naturally. I don't see science and God as mutually exclusive.

To me God is just a spiritual thing.
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17-12-2014, 05:56 AM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(16-12-2014 08:46 PM)Stuffed_Assumption_Meringue Wrote:  Gaest:
It's fine bro, whenever you're both willing and able is fine. We've gotten a little off topic though; this was started to ask "why believe" and you answered that to Micro's satisfaction. It's really all that matters.

Chas and I have spun off into reasons and rationales and the challenges and logic and evidence and gahoyven!
Would you prefer PM'ing or a new thread?

If I'm being presumptious by trying to not be presumptious: Fuck it. Let's keep going.

Cheers man, thank you for being understanding!

Fair point about derailing the thread... Depending on how my answer and this thread end up looking I might make a new thread. We'll see Smile

Quote:Also: It wouldn't have bothered me if you hadn't gotten back to me/ us. But thank you for your assurance. It's great.

Your welcome. You put time and thought into reading and writing a reply to me, and of course I would like to return the favor - when I can.
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17-12-2014, 06:29 AM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(17-12-2014 01:13 AM)Seattle Wrote:  OK, I'll bite.

I believe in God but not in organized religion. I grew up in a religious household in a religious part of the country (so that probably answers one of your questions).

I was opened to the idea of God from an early age due to my environment so it wasn't a logical or rational thing. Once one is open to God then it's easy to "find" him.

I do seem to "feel" him or sense his presence. I don't believe in answerable prayers but the feeling is more of a big brother or something that has concern for me. This feeling has helped me when times were down.

I feel that "he" would want me to live the good life and basically adopt the Golden Rule. I feel that God is tolerant. I don't believe in hell and have no thoughts one way or the other regarding the possibility of an afterlife.

I just try to live a good life while I'm here. I think God created the laws of physics and everything from that point on occured naturally. I don't see science and God as mutually exclusive.

To me God is just a spiritual thing.
Thank you for taking the time to reply with an honest an thought out answer. Smile

Remember, just because you want something to be true, doesn't make it true. Yes, even if you have faith.
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17-12-2014, 07:03 AM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(17-12-2014 01:13 AM)Seattle Wrote:  OK, I'll bite.

Welcome!


(17-12-2014 01:13 AM)Seattle Wrote:  I believe in God but not in organized religion. I grew up in a religious household in a religious part of the country (so that probably answers one of your questions).

I was opened to the idea of God from an early age due to my environment so it wasn't a logical or rational thing. Once one is open to God then it's easy to "find" him.

I do seem to "feel" him or sense his presence. I don't believe in answerable prayers but the feeling is more of a big brother or something that has concern for me. This feeling has helped me when times were down.

I feel that "he" would want me to live the good life and basically adopt the Golden Rule. I feel that God is tolerant. I don't believe in hell and have no thoughts one way or the other regarding the possibility of an afterlife.

I just try to live a good life while I'm here. I think God created the laws of physics and everything from that point on occured naturally. I don't see science and God as mutually exclusive.

To me God is just a spiritual thing.

Do you believe in any of the broad claims of any of the world's religions? For example: do you believe that Jesus walked the earth 2,000 years ago performing miracles? Do you believe that any of the holy books written can give insight into God in any meaningful, predictive way, or do you consider your knowledge of God to be gained in a more subjective, personal way?
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17-12-2014, 01:06 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(17-12-2014 07:03 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(17-12-2014 01:13 AM)Seattle Wrote:  OK, I'll bite.

Welcome!


(17-12-2014 01:13 AM)Seattle Wrote:  I believe in God but not in organized religion. I grew up in a religious household in a religious part of the country (so that probably answers one of your questions).

I was opened to the idea of God from an early age due to my environment so it wasn't a logical or rational thing. Once one is open to God then it's easy to "find" him.

I do seem to "feel" him or sense his presence. I don't believe in answerable prayers but the feeling is more of a big brother or something that has concern for me. This feeling has helped me when times were down.

I feel that "he" would want me to live the good life and basically adopt the Golden Rule. I feel that God is tolerant. I don't believe in hell and have no thoughts one way or the other regarding the possibility of an afterlife.

I just try to live a good life while I'm here. I think God created the laws of physics and everything from that point on occured naturally. I don't see science and God as mutually exclusive.

To me God is just a spiritual thing.

Do you believe in any of the broad claims of any of the world's religions? For example: do you believe that Jesus walked the earth 2,000 years ago performing miracles? Do you believe that any of the holy books written can give insight into God in any meaningful, predictive way, or do you consider your knowledge of God to be gained in a more subjective, personal way?

No to the former and yes to the latter. It's a personal (and subjective) thing for me.
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